If you think Donald Trump’s shock firing of FBI Director James Comey has only sent Sean Spicer into panic mode, think again. Sure, Trump’s White House Press Secretary was seen hiding among the bushes to try to avoid reporters after the firing. But according to reports, the panic mode appears to have spread to the entire senior staff – to the point that they have no idea how they’re going to handle today’s Sunday morning talk shows.
None of Trump’s usual top five surrogates are making themselves available for today’s talk show circuit, according to Brian Stelter, one of CNN’s more reliable reporters (link). This is understandable, because anyone on Trump’s staff who goes out and answers questions about the Comey firing right now is A) likely to make the scandal even worse by addressing it, B) likely to make themselves look bad, and C) facing at least some chance of getting sucked into the obstruction of justice that Trump is committing.
But this is collectively a major strategic error for Trump’s senior staff, because if the Sunday morning talk shows can’t book any of Trump’s people to talk about the Comey firing, they’re likely to just book a series of eager Congressional Democrats instead. And so the door has been flung wide open for the Democrats to use the Sunday morning platform to hammer home how inappropriate the firing was, and how guilty it makes Trump look.
It’s not yet clear if the Sunday morning shows will end up using low level Trump surrogates, who would essentially be throwing themselves to the wolves in the process. But at this point it’s difficult to find any prominent members of the Republican Party willing to side with Trump on this, now that he’s flat out admitted he fired Comey because Comey was investigating him. And with Trump’s own senior staff unwilling to go out and defend him, Sunday morning should be a bloodbath for the administration. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report